By: Amy Dalke
I walked in the front door of my friend’s house to find her angrily mopping her floor (an activity with which I’m vaguely familiar myself).
As she yanked the mop back and forth, she groaned about the audacity of boys who don’t remove their baseball cleats on the front porch. And of course I heartily affirmed her frustrations as I thanked God that my own son knows better than to drag his mud-laced shoes across my sparkly clean floors. (Yeah, IN MY DREAMS, people.)
She collected the last stray parcel of dirt, only to notice sugar cookie crumbs had suddenly formed a trail down the hallway. Her face turned red as her 6 year old son strolled down the corridor with a baseball glove in one hand and leftover cookie crumbs in the other.
(It was unfortunate timing for him, to say the least.)
His mother gave him the look that says she already knows the answer, but still she asked, “Who dropped cookie crumbs all over the place?”
With cookie icing caked across his cheeks and one last bite that he quickly moved towards his pocket, he looked boldly up at his mother and affirmed, “Not me!”
I worked hard to keep laughter tucked inside my mouth, because-oh-my-word he totally just said that. And the confident grin on his face said he was convinced his mom was fooled.
Now, you might think this story leads to some kind of instruction on What To Do When Your Kid Tells a Lie.
Instead, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of that 6 year old.
I don’t know about you, but I can be a sucker for my own lies.
I can pretend that my sin isn’t that big of a deal; and since I’ve got it under control, it won’t negatively impact others. If I tell myself this long enough, I even start to believe it’s true. It’s like the sin becomes so intertwined with my everyday life that I assume this sinful habit is just part of who I am.
Or, for example, I chalk up the chronic dissatisfaction of my body as “something we all deal with.” After all, the magazines at the cash register prove my issue is normal. Prevalent, even. (But am I really okay with the world’s normal?)
Maybe you tell yourself that just because you have a glass or 3 of wine with dinner doesn’t mean you have a problem. But your shaking hands and mental angst say otherwise.
We tell ourselves that the cherished sin in our heart isn’t consequential because we’re obviously on good terms with God. We go to church almost every Sunday, drop money in the offering plate when we have leftover change in our pocket, and we even do that Angel Tree thing every Christmas.
That’s great and all…but God isn’t fooled by our do-gooding.
You and I are hardly different from that 6 year old who claims he didn’t eat the cookie.
We can try our best to shove the crumbs in our pocket so others don’t see the extent of our mess, but in the end – what good does that do? The life we crave, the joy we so desperately want, is only found when we get gut-deep honest with ourselves and God…and have the courage to face our sin.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:15-16
When we allow God to change us from the inside out, we are free from a lifestyle of crumb management. We’ll still get messy for sure, but we’ll look in the mirror and deal with our dirty face instead of pretending we can hide it.
And I’m praying today that we will both have the courage to face that thing we hold onto…because our family, our neighbors, and this community will be blessed when we live headlong into the TRUTH of who we were made to be.
Are you trying to fool God today?
How is that impacting everyone around you?
What would it look like to just be yourself with him?